Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:
Johanna Hepp, Sean P. Lane, Ryan W. Carpenter, Inga Niedtfeld, Whitney C. Brown, and Timothy J. Trull
Affective instability is one of the key markers of borderline personality disorder (BPD), in which high levels of negative affect may be a possible trigger for problem behaviors. Researchers examined the relationship between interpersonal problems and negative affect in people with BPD. Several times a day for 28 days, participants were asked whether they experienced rejection and disagreement and to what extent they experienced negative affect (hostility, sadness, and fear). The researchers found mutually reinforcing relationships between rejection and hostility, rejection and sadness, and disagreement and hostility. The relationships between hostility and both rejection and disagreement were significantly stronger in those with BPD even after adjusting for comorbid depression. These findings indicate the importance of adapting treatment plans for patients with BPD to improve emotion-regulation skills, specifically those related to anger, and reinforce successful navigation of interpersonal situations.
Enrico Toffalini, David Giofrè, and Cesare Cornoldi
Studies have suggested that specific learning disabilities are associated with specific intellectual profiles, but such studies are often hampered by small sample sizes. To remedy this, the researchers examined intellectual ability in a sample of 1,049 children diagnosed with a variety of learning disabilities (reading disorder, spelling disorder, specific disorder of arithmetical skills, or mixed disorder of scholastic skills). Each child completed the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV, which has indexes related to verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. Although the researchers found that all subtypes of learning disorders were characterized by a discrepancy between the general-ability index (created by combining the verbal-comprehension and perceptual-reasoning indexes) and the cognitive-proficiency index (created by combining the working memory and processing-speed indexes), each subtype had its own specificities. This suggests that specific discrepancies within each subtype should be accounted for during learning disability diagnosis and intervention.
Vaughan Bell, Kathryn L. Mills, Gemma Modinos, and Sam Wilkinson
The hallucinations and delusions of those with psychosis are often social in nature, but many theories of psychosis do not address why this might be. Bell and colleagues argue that psychosis represents a breakdown in the cognitive system used for social-agent representation (i.e., the creation, use, and maintenance of internal representations of social actors for both implicit and explicit social cognitive function). They present evidence for this position and suggest that a better understanding of the anomalous social-agent representation in those with psychosis could provide insights into social cognition in general.